This isn't locked up mathematically yet, but it would take a lot for the Bulls to not be the 1st seed. The Celtics have wrapped up the 4th seed so if both teams win their first round series (likely but not a given - especially in a weird lockout year) then we could be seeing the Celtics face the Bulls in the 2nd round.
This is, of course, a risky basketball-gods-angering bit of speculation to begin with, but I'm bored with the last week of the season and I'll try to appease them by adding in as many caveats as possible.
It is saying something about the Bulls that I would prefer to face the Heat. Sure, we handled the Heat in the two most recent games, but they still boast the current season's likely MVP, a former Finals MVP, and an All Star third option. The Bulls on the other hand, have Derrick Rose and All Star Luol Deng and no other stars, but a whole lot of depth and grit. They also have Tom Thibbodeau's defense, which we all know very well.
On the bright side, the Bulls are a bit banged up right now.
It's not just Rose's groin, or ankle. He also has a foot strain, apparently, and hasn't looked in rhythm since March. It's not just that Deng is playing with one working wrist, at this point, it's that he took some shots to the ribs, and he was noticeably wearing on Thursday; hounded by LeBron James defensively, while struggling to keep up with the NBA's likely MVP on the other end. With the Heat overloading on the Bulls UCLA-derived counter attacks, the team ran out of options, and was made to look like … well, especially what this Bulls team, up against Miami, should look like right now.
I fully expect them to get some rest down the stretch and hit their stride in the first round. Then they will be a very, very difficult matchup for ...umm, whomever faces them in the 2nd round.
I think if I had to rank the teams I'd LEAST like to face in the postseason, it would start with the Bulls, then probably the Thunder, then it would be pretty tight between the Heat, Spurs, and Lakers. But of course the Lakers would just be good for old times sake and hopefully a little revenge.
But first things first. We have to get to the playoffs and face our first round opponent, whom I'm not looking past at all. Nope, not me. Not at all.